Review: Scarlet #5

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Alex Maleev

 

Summary

It’s the final issue of the new SCARLET epic—and the cover says it all! Scarlet escalates her campaign against cor- ruption to the next level. Don’t miss the blistering finale to this year’s chapter of SCARLET, from the Eisner Award-winning team of Bendis and Maleev!

 

Positives

The cover is striking. I love the white house against the red backdrop. For some reason, it’s a really evocative image. Or I just really like the color red.

 

The issue ends with a tribute to Stan Lee and it is unbelievably sweet. The tribute showcases Bendis’ interactions with Lee in comic form and it is honestly really moving. This issue is worth buying for that tribute to Lee alone.

 

Negatives

This story has no purpose. A lot of that has to do with the Scarlet character herself who is remarkably clueless. The entire issue is spent on her having no idea what’s going on and random characters trying to catch her up to speed. The only thing that seems to motivate her is anti-corruption but that’s pretty generic. I have no idea what exactly she wants or what was so bad that she had to rebel. I feel like I’m watching a bad sequel to a movie I never saw.

I suspect that DC’s official description is wrong because their description is way off. This is not a blistering finale and the cover says nothing other than the white house in this issue. If this is the final issue, what a weird way to go. Nothing is really accomplished outside of exposition for the protagonist’s benefit.

 

Verdict

This issue is probably my least favorite so far. There’s nothing to grab onto. Scarlet has yet to display any genuine traits that make her interesting or even charismatic. In the context of these five issues, she seems to be rebelling for the sake of it but I have no idea what for other than some generic speeches. Plot wise, it’s slow and meandering; there’s nothing driving this story. It all feels empty and dull. However, the issue does win points for a very sweet tribute to Stan Lee and I loved that very much.

 

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Sean Blumenshine

I am currently a senior at Wichita State University studying communications. I started reading comics in 2013 because of how much I loved Man of Steel and season one of Arrow. My favorite hero is the Green Arrow and my favorite villain is the Joker.